What we know about the racial makeup, political leanings, and professions of the jurors selected to decide whether Derek Chauvin is guilty of murder

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Haven Orecchio-Egresitz
·14 min read
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george floyd derek chauvin
Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (right) is charged with the murder of George Floyd. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images; Ramsey County Sheriff's Office via AP
  • A full jury has been selected to serve on the Derek Chauvin trial.

  • Attorneys selected 15 men and women. Fourteen will hear the case and 12 of them will deliberate.

  • Here's what we know about each of the jurors who will decide if Chauvin is guilty of murder.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

After two weeks of voir dire, a full jury has been selected to serve in the trial of fired Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin, which will kick off on March 29.

Lawyers and Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill began questioning potential jurors on March 9.

On Tuesday, a 15th person was selected. Next Monday, one juror will be dismissed, leaving 14 to hear the case and 12 to deliberate.

Each of the jurors were asked about their exposure to details about George Floyd's death, their thoughts on social justice movements, and sussed out whether they could put away any opinions that they may have already formed to be fair and impartial in the case.

Chauvin, who was captured on video kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

The case has received such an extraordinary amount of pre-trial publicity that Cahill had originally slated three full weeks to question jurors. The process was moving along smoothly until March 12 when the city of Minneapolis announced a $27 million settlement with Floyd's family. The timing and amount of the settlement led many in the jury pool to feel they could no longer be impartial in the case.

Read more: These 3 legal experts are skeptical a Democratic bill named in honor of George Floyd would really change law enforcement

News around the settlement was so invasive that Cahill requestioned the nine jurors who had already been seated in the case, and ultimately excused two of them after he found that they could no longer be fair in the case.

Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, argued to Cahill that the timing of the settlement was "suspicious" and that the trial should be postponed. Cahill denied the motion on March 19, noting that pretrial publicity in this case is inevitable and will carry on even if there is a delay.

Of the six men and nine women selected and still on the jury, eight are white, four are Black, and two are multiracial. The race of the 15th juror selected was not immediately released Tuesday.

Jurors range in ages from their 20s to 60s, with many on the younger side, according to notes released by the court.

Chauvin in courtroom
Chauvin sits in court with his attorney during jury selection Court TV pool photo via AP

Here what we know about the jurors selected:

A chemist who says he never saw the Floyd video

On the first full day of jury selection, two men and a woman were chosen for the jury.

The first juror, a chemist in his 30s, lives in Minneapolis and is engaged to be married.

The man, who is white, described himself as a "pretty logical person" and said he has a generally favorable view of the Black Lives Matter movement, but added he believes all lives matter equally. He said he doesn't believe the Blue Lives Matter counter-viewpoint is necessary.

The man also said he had never seen the viral Facebook video depicting George Floyd's death but has seen a still photo.

A northern Minnesota woman was excited to be summoned to duty

The first woman chosen is from northern Minnesota and said she was "super excited" to receive her summons because she is fascinated by the court process.

She described herself as a "go with the flow, open-minded person." She saw the video of Floyd's death once, and said it gave her a somewhat negative opinion of Chauvin, but that she could be proven wrong when presented with complete evidence.

As for Black Lives Matter, she said she supports the idea behind the movement but believes it has been turned into a marketing campaign used by companies to get people to buy products. She feels the same about the pro-cop counter-movement.

A financial auditor has an unfavorable view of the Blue Lives Matter counter-movement

Another man chosen the first day, who is white, works as a financial auditor and described himself as "honest, straightforward, and easy to talk to."

He responded he had a somewhat negative view of Chauvin because he was involved in a death, but he would base his findings in the case only on the evidence at trial.

He supports Black Lives Matter in general but said he disagrees with the actions of some members of the organization. He said he has an unfavorable opinion of Blue Lives Matter.

One IT manager loves sports and has a dog

One juror chosen on Wednesday, March 10, who is Black, works in information technology, speaks several languages, including French, and loves sports. He lives with his wife and dog.

He said he believes in the Black Lives Matter movement, but disagrees with defunding the police because doing so would take away resources to keep neighborhoods safe.

A woman who works at a nonprofit and wants police reform

A woman chosen Friday described herself as a mom of teenagers who enjoys the outdoors.

She told lawyers she believes people are "inherently good" and has sympathy or empathy for everyone involved in this case, including Floyd's family and the officers because it's changed all of their lives.

This woman, who is white, works in the healthcare nonprofit world and said she feels there needs to be reform in policing.

"Excessive force against Blacks must stop, but not everyone in the system is bad," she said in court.

As for defunding the police, she said she somewhat disagrees with it because she would feel less safe without police in her neighborhood.

Despite these beliefs though, the woman believes she doesn't have all the information yet and would be able to put her preconceived thoughts aside during the case.

A single mother of 2 who believes 'all lives matter'

The third woman chosen to serve on the jury works in healthcare and likes to ride her motorcycle for fun.

She is a single mother of two and riots broke out close to her home but didn't impact her property.

This juror repeated several times during voir dire that she believes "all lives matter" in reference to questions about the Black Lives Matter movement. She told the court she didn't know the "Blue Lives Matter" counter-movement was referring to police. She thought it was for "everybody else."

During questioning about police overreach, she mentioned an instance over the summer where four police officers responded to a call about a teenager who she didn't believe was a threat. The woman said during that interaction, she believed more police responded than was necessary.

She noted she wouldn't believe the testimony of a police officer over that of a civilian.

A youth sports coach who keeps it 'positive'

A man selected Monday, March 15, who is Black, works in banking and coaches youth sports.

He described himself as an outgoing and positive person and said he wants to serve on the case because of its historical nature.

This juror said when he's resolving a conflict among the parents of his team, he tries to understand their thought process.

This man has a favorable view of Black Lives Matter but doesn't "know it" as an organization or movement. He understands it as a statement.

He said he knows people who have used drugs but doesn't view them any more or less favorable than people who don't use drugs.

This man also told the court that he had one interaction with police during an issue with his driver's license, and during that instance, police acted professionally.

A manager who trusts the police

A Black man in his 40s told the court he has had positive experiences with police, especially when they responded to a break-in at his home.

He doesn't agree with defunding the police because he worries officers wouldn't be available when he needed them.

This man said he watched some of the videos in which George Floyd was killed, and has a somewhat negative view of how the unrest that followed impacted Minneapolis.

A woman who works as a consultant

A woman selected Wednesday, March 17 said that she was aware of the $27 million settlement with George Floyd's family, but that it wouldn't impact her ability to be fair.

This woman, who is in her 40s, is a mother and works as a consultant.

She believes that Blacks are treated unfairly in the criminal justice system, and said that law enforcement should treat people accused of crimes should be treated with respect.

She made a comment, though, that if she was speeding and didn't pull over, "that would be on me."

A nurse who lives alone and supports the Black Lives Matter movement

A white woman chosen for the jury Thursday, March 18 works as a registered nurse, dealing primarily with patients on ventilators.

She told the court she'd step in and help if she saw a person suffering from a medical condition because of her duty as both a nurse and human, but that she'd be able to put aside her medical knowledge while hearing the case.

She told the court she has a favorable view of the Black Lives Matter movement, as it highlights inequalities in the system.

The woman also said she has trust in the police and doesn't believe departments should be defunded.

A Black grandmother who volunteers at a youth organization

The 11th juror selected for the case is a grandmother who volunteers her time working with young people.

She has a relative at the Minneapolis Police Department but has a neutral opinion of the Blue Lives Matter organization.

As for Black Lives Matter, she told the court, "I am Black, and my life matters."

A woman who works in commercial insurance

The 12th juror chosen initially indicated she thought Chauvin used excessive force but noted Floyd might not have been "completely innocent."

The woman, who works in commercial insurance, told the court she'd be able to put those thoughts aside while hearing evidence in the case.

This woman said she believes there is discrimination against "other races" and that some of her own friends have been treated differently because of their race, and even called racial slurs.

She has a somewhat favorable view of the Black Lives Matter movement, but she doesn't participate in it.

On the other hand, she has a very favorable view of Blue Lives Matter, as police have been helpful to her in the past and she doesn't wasn't to see departments defunded.

The prosecution asked the woman how she felt about people who use drugs, and she said she might not trust them because of how being intoxicated can change behavior.

But she doesn't think that just because someone has used drugs there should be "ramifications of violence for that."

An advocate for the homeless community says someone can breathe if they can speak

The 13th juror, who was selected Friday, March 19, recently resigned from her job in customer service to work as an advocate for affordable housing and homelessness.

The women, who is white and in her 50s, said she doesn't resent police over news that officers break up homeless encampments in the city.

She responded in a questionnaire filled out ahead of voir dire that she "agrees" that police treat Black and white people equally. Her place of work was vandalized during the riots in Minneapolis.

She also responded, in a response to a question about the video of Floyd's death, that she believed that if someone is speaking they can breathe.

A social worker who believes in hearing from both sides

The 14th juror selected for the jury is a white social worker who was married last October and owns a dog.

The woman, who is in her 20s, told the court she believes everyone should be treated with respect and therefore thinks movements that call for respect - like both Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter - are great.

She told the court Monday she had a neutral to negative view of Chauvin based on the community's reaction to the video.

She had a negative to positive view of Floyd based on information about his drug use spanning to favorable things he heard his family say about him.

She said she's always curious about why people make the decisions they do, and is interested in the kind of training Chauvin was given before Floyd's death.

An accountant who doesn't like when athletes kneel for Black Lives Matter

A man selected on Tuesday is an accountant with a new puppy.

He told the court he is an analytical person and somewhat pro-police.

The man said he is a big sports fan and wishes that athletes would use a different way to get their message out instead of kneeling during the national anthem.

george floyd painting
A mural painted by artist Kenny Altidor depicting George Floyd is unveiled on a sidewall of CTown Supermarket on July 13, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough New York City. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

JUROR REMOVED: A man would have had to postpone his wedding to serve

The other man chosen Wednesday, March 10, who is white, told Judge Cahill he was scheduled to be married on May 1 in Florida but was willing to push that off to hear the case.

This juror also has a favorable impression of the Black Lives Matter movement.

He said he has a negative impression of the Blue Lives Matter movement but does support law enforcement.

JUROR REMOVED: One 'family man' works as a route driver

The only juror chosen Thursday, March 11 is a Hispanic man who described himself as an outgoing "family man" and Real Madrid soccer fan.

He works as a route driver and said he will lose money during his time serving on the trial, but was willing to do so.

He responded that he had a very negative opinion of Chauvin from the video of Floyd's death, but said he would be able to base his findings in the case on evidence in court.

Attorneys sussed out jurors' thoughts on racial justice

A bystander's video from the scene of Floyd's death showed him begging for help as Chauvin held his knee to Floyd's neck on the ground.

Floyd's killing sparked international outrage and reignited the anti-police brutality movement.

Because of the high-profile nature of the case, it's unlikely any potential jurors in the pool are unaware of Chauvin or haven't formed some opinion before the trial begins.

Instead, attorneys for Chauvin and the state were left to assess whether prospective jurors will be able to put their preconceived opinions aside and base their decisions solely on the evidence presented to them in the courtroom.

To figure this out, the attorneys questioned the jurors about their views, but also on how they've reacted in the past when they've been disproved of something they believed.

Questions touched on their thoughts about the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements, how they solve conflict in their own lives, and whether safety concerns about how they will be treated after the trial would sway their findings.

Potential jurors who were dismissed by attorneys, or for cause by the judge, expressed strong opinions either in support of the racial justice movement or law enforcement, or they appeared as though they wouldn't be able to put preconceived thoughts of Floyd or Chauvin out of their minds while hearing the case.

Others expressed that they believed the settlement with Floyd's family was large and they might not be able to put it out of their mind when deciding on the facts.

Some were dismissed because they expressed a financial hardship that would be caused by missing up to a month of work.

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